I haven’t heard too much on the Reggie Bush front lately, but the L.A. Times’s Gary Klein and David Wharton report that “there has been progress in the investigation,” according to the Pac-10’s associate commissioner of enforcement. No details beyond that. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski says Bush should lose his Heisman if rules were broken. Personally, I don’t think it’d be fair to strip him of the award if he himself was totally innocent — but if he knew about what his parents were doing, or if he turned a blind eye to deliberately avoid knowing the details, then yeah, take away the Heisman. I have much less of a problem with changing the results of award ceremonies than with changing the results of games. The latter, it seems to me, does much more violence to history, in an Orwellian sort of way, than the former.
As for Mark Sanchez, “the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has not yet determined whether charges will be filed,” according to Klein Wharton. In the mean time, Sanchez remains on “interim suspension,” whatever that means, but he is taking finals. That’s according to the L.A. Daily News’s Scott Wolf, who has blogged several times about indications from various sources that the case against Sanchez appears somewhat weak. Wolf also quoted a statement from Sanchez’s family.
Oh, and Wolf has apparent confirmation of the Matt-and-Paris-sittin’-in-a-tree story. Yuck.
Last but not least, some good news for fellow Trojans: it looks like tailback Chauncey Washington will be eligible to play next season. That’s according to him; as of yet, grades are still unofficial.
P.S. The AP has an article summarizing the difficulties USC’s football program has faced in the last few weeks. Excerpt:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Just two weeks ago, the Southern California football program was in wonderful shape — a dynasty in the works.
Now, with allegations of NCAA violations surfacing against a pair of All-Americans and another player arrested for investigation of sexual assault, the program is under intense scrutiny.
“Without a doubt, we’ve been put into a light that challenges us,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “Time will sort things out. We’ll see how everything comes out. No question, people will be wondering about the program a little bit.” …
Perhaps success breeds this kind of attention. Past national champions like Clemson, Miami, Washington, Florida State and Ohio State have been targets of allegations that resulted in investigations.
Carroll isn’t shying away, although he realizes the school’s image has been tarnished for now. He was emphatic concerning the effort made to inform players and their families about what can go wrong.
“We’ve been all over this,” he said. “We’re trying to inform and educate better than anybody in the country. We have to send the message so clear. It’s about creating a conscience with the players first.
“It starts all the way back to junior day, the first day we bring future recruits on campus. We start talking about what this all means, what this is all about, and it just goes on throughout.”
Even so, Carroll said, he’s ultimately responsible as the head coach.
“I’m not going to make excuses for any part of this,” he said. “I’m not going to point the finger at somebody else. I’m the one who has to continue to get this done. I’ve got to do a better job.”
The article adds that “Carroll said he spoke with Bush and his parents several times about NCAA rules and outsiders who might entice them,” but the coach says, “We have to do better with all the family members.” As for the possibility of forfeitures and vacated national championships, Carroll says, “With the little bits of information I have, no, I’m not worried about that one bit. I’m confident that’s not where this is going.”